Cheerio’s only fault was that he liked to get loose and run through the mobile home park where his owner Melissa Cousino lived. But now Cheerio is dead, and according to Sunday’s Toledo Blade, some are blaming the owner, others the dog warden. Even the local humane society and dozens of rescues that were contacted could have saved him but did not step up, according to the article.
Cheerio was killed on Thursday. The little beagle mix had been at the Lucas County Dog Warden’s Office since July 18, when he was picked up as a stray. Although Cheerio was not wearing a license tag, his owner had purchased one, so the dog warden’s office was able to track down Cousino, who lives in Holland.
The dog warden's office tried calling Cousino. A certified letter was sent to her home, informing her she had 14 days to redeem the dog or it could be killed or put up for adoption.
According to Cousino, she had given Cheerio away to a man at the mobile home park “seven or eight months ago.” When she received the certified letter, she states she brought him the letter. However, she said he refused to pay to get the dog back.
Cousino then went to the shelter to find out what she needed to do to get the dog back. She was informed that she would have to pay $140 to redeem him. Cousino did not have the money.
The shelter counters that had she come in as soon as Cheerio went missing, the cost would have been much less. The charge had she picked him up the first day would have been $45 for kenneling fee, posting and fine.
But if Cheerio wasn’t living with her, she wouldn't have known he was missing until she received the certified letter.
Since she wasn’t able to pay it in full, Cousino wishes the dog warden would have allowed her to make payments. Last summer she paid $100 to redeem Cheerio when he got loose and ended up at the shelter. That time she borrowed the money from her boss, Cousino said.
The Lucas County Dog Warden’s Office evaluated Cheerio and determined he could not be placed for adoption since he failed the behavior evaluation. Cheerio had issues with being handled and guarded his food.
The Dog Warden’s Office contacted the Toledo Area Humane Society, as well as 40 other dog rescue groups. No one stepped up to take the little dog.
As a result, on Thursday, August 15, 2013, Cheerio was euthanized.
So many things went wrong after Cheerio bolted and ran away. So many people could have helped save him or at least granted him a little more time. But no matter who people choose to blame, ultimately a little dog lost his life, and there’s no changing that.
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